Kybella® is an injectable therapeutic agent that has been approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for its use solely in the treatment of double chins (fatty necks) in appropriate patients. It is a manufactured version of deoxycholic acid (Allergan), a bile acid naturally occurring in our bodies which is used to break down fat.
The allure of Kybella® is that it offers a non-surgical treatment option for those individuals with a double-chin/fatty neck. This translates into essentially no down time including from work or school with minimal associated discomfort and a more economical price tag. Furthermore, the results are long lasting.
Given its success in the treatment of neck fat, Kybella® is presently being investigated by Allergan for the treatment of fat deposits elsewhere. This includes such areas as back bra fat, inner knees, armpit area and even cankles. Because the mechanism of action of the agent is to permanently destroy fat cells, intuitively it makes sense that it should be effective wherever there are fat deposits.
Of course, there will need to be strong evidence for the effectiveness of Kybella® in the treatment of fat deposits in locations other than the neck in order for it to be FDA approved for those uses. That usually takes a while – possibly several years.
Because Kybella® has already been approved for usage by the FDA (though specifically only in the treatment of neck fat), it theoretically can be used “off-label” for the non-surgical treatment of fat deposits elsewhere.
At one’s own risk!
Physically and monetarily.
There are a few practitioners across the country indeed using this agent in an off-label fashion. Since its usage for these areas are not specifically FDA approved and there are no established parameters regarding dosage and usage, BUYER BEWARE.
If you would like to schedule your consultation for Kybella®, liposuction or any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform, please contact my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona